Bob started in the sports memorabilia/collectibles field in 1994 and is going strong today with his company, Latitude Sports Marketing (LSM), which responds to the marketplace’s need for innovative, fresh ideas in the sports marketing industry. In the short time since the company has opened, LSM has coordinated signings and appearances with numerous notable athletes.
Bob Fein has also gained years of experience working with charitable causes – raising not only revenue, but awareness for several organizations. Bob currently serves on the board for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and he has co-chaired their “Monday Night Football Bash” at Invesco Field for two years in a row. The event has featured such favorites as Ed McCaffrey, Randy Gradishar, Reggie Rivers, and Haven Moses – in addition to the Broncos Cheerleaders.
Fein, who is hoping for another very successful year, can be contacted at email@example.com, and Bob would be happy to provide you with many exciting ideas and items that can help your charity create generous revenues.
Bob says: “We have a diverse inventory of sports memorabilia, and we know presentation can be as important as the item itself, so we offer a variety of specialty collectibles that are in display cases - or are tastefully framed - at extremely reasonable prices.”
How long has Latitude Sports Marketing been around? For 2 years.
How did the idea for the business come about? I have been in the Sports Marketing business for 13 years. For my first 3 years, I owned my own my own company Fine Sports Collectibles. I sold out to a large national company, and then I worked for them for 8 years. Around 2 years ago, I decided to open Latitude Sports Marketing.
How do you acquire your sports memorabilia? We do signings with almost all the local stars. Also a few of the national ones as well. We bring them to stores or corporations and small business to do signings, speeches or meet and greets. We also acquire some items through the national companies that have deals with players like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.
Why do you think sports memorabilia is so popular? Sports are a huge part of our culture. The exposure and publicity surrounding sports these days is huge. ESPN, the internet, fantasy leagues and television coverage all play a part. I think people like re-living some great memories of their heroes. Collecting a photo of John Elway from the Super Bowl is a way to re-live that memorable event.
People really love to meet the athletes in person. Some people will buy a ticket to meet their hero. They will wait in line for an hour. Finally it is their turn to meet the player, and the fan is so nervous they can barely say hello.
The memorabilia looks great in corporate offices, restaurants and homes. Once you get a few pieces, it gets kind of addictive. I know some of these people!!
What is the most expensive item that has ever been auctioned off? The most expensive items that we have used in auctions are some golf prints signed by three legends on the same print. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer. I think they went for $4,000.
How do you assist charities with their fundraising efforts? I have raised a lot of money over the years for charities by providing sports memorabilia on consignment to charities. This means if an item does not sell, we simply take it back without charging. I have attended over 1000 events in 13 years, and almost at all the events, the Sports memorabilia items that we bring attracts the most bids.
I customize a list of items that is tailored to the people who will be attending. I usually try to bring items that are hot and that have done well at other events.
We attend almost all the events. We can help with set up of the items and closing down at the end of the auction. We also have assisted charities in arranging for athletes to do appearances at fundraisers. Charities can recoup their cost by holding special VIP parties.
In addition to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, can you name a few of the other charities LSM has worked with? Sure: Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
What event services do you offer for corporate functions? We arrange for athletes to do meet and greets and or speaking engagements. Athletes and coaches are a great way to motivate people in the corporate environment.
You have met many athletes through the years. Which one(s) is the: Funniest? Muhammad Ali; Nicest? Milan Hejduk; Most interesting? Muhammad Ali; Most shy? NOT Muhammad Ali or Shaquille O’Neal. Probably one of the hockey guys that does not speak English really well; Best speaker? Ed McCaffrey. Although there are a lot of great speakers out there; Most admirable? Todd Helton and Milan Hejduk, two classy guys; You’ve become most friendly with? Ed McCaffrey, John Elway & Patrick Roy would be the ones I’ve done the most business with and spent the most time with.
Do you offer your services all over the country, or do you work primarily in Colorado? We work all over the country. We also wholesale memorabilia to stores all throughout the USA and Canada. We have done charity events all over the country.
What are your future goals for Latitude Sports Marketing? Keep growing the business in all aspects; especially the charity and corporate sectors.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? That will put me at almost 20 years in the business. Maybe somebody will offer to buy my company in five years, and I can work on my golf game!